Virginia Land Snails


Photo(s): Mesodon elevatus by Bill Frank ©, and views of its shell by Larry Watrous ©.

Click photo(s) to enlarge.

Mesodon elevatus (Say, 1821)

Family: Polygyridae
Common name: Proud Globe

Width: 20-26 mm
Height: 14-20 mm tall
Whorls: 6+

The shell of Mesodon elevatus is among the tallest of the globe-shaped snails that might be found in Virginia. Its whorls are tightly coiled and the aperture may be flat or slightly concave at the basal lip. It has a pronounced tooth and a subtle lamella on the lower edge of the reflected lip (Pilsbry, 1940). The snail is light-colored.

Mesodon elevatus is apparently a calciphile, and in Tennessee it was found in small numbers on moderately-sloping, limestone sites, at low elevations (Coney et al, 1982). It may also be found on river bluffs (Hubricht, 1985).

M. elevatus has also been known as: Helix elevata, H. knoxvillina, H. tennesseensis, Mesodon elevata, Polygyra elevata, and P. elevatus.

This snail is a Midwestern native, ranging from Michigan and New York (where it is introduced) in the north, south to Alabama, west to Oklahoma and east to Virginia and North Carolina. In Virginia this species lives in the southwestern counties.

NatureServe Global Rank: G5
NatureServe State Rank: S2
Virginia’s wildlife action plan: Tier IV


Ken Hotopp, Meegan Winslow 9/2012

Range Map